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Securing Climate Benefit: a Guide to Using Carbon Offsets

The world has finally awakened to the enormity of the climate challenge, but few people know what they can do to reduce their own emissions. You can begin by driving less and flying less, but you can also purchase carbon offsets. Here is a new guide to the basics.

EasyJet Says it’s Now Carbon Neutral

Passenger flights emitted greenhouse gasses equivalent to 900 million tons of carbon dioxide last year, but more and more airlines are using carbon offsets to reduce their impacts. Yesterday, EasyJet became the first airline to offset all emissions from its use of jet fuel in an effort to become carbon neutral.

Trump Formally Serves One-Year Notice to Withdraw From Paris Agreement

US President Donald Trump has ensured climate change will be a top issue in the 2020 presidential race by formally serving notice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement the day after next year’s election. Long expected, the formal announcement will focus attention on regional efforts within the United States and international efforts to move forward if Trump wins reelection in 2020.

It’s Official: Climate Talks Will Take Place in Madrid, From 2-13 December

1 November 2019 | Madrid will host the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from December 2 through 13, the UNFCCC announced today. The talks, originally planned to take place in Brazil, were switched to Chile late last year, after the election of Jair […]

After Chile Backs Out, Speculation Focuses on Bonn or Madrid for Climate Summit

Chile’s withdrawal from hosting this year’s climate talks echoes the 2016 talks, or “COP 23,” which were moved to the former German capital of Bonn after the host country, Fiji, was unable to physically host the event. That substitution required more than a year of planning, but many in Germany believe the country can and should host again.

As Impeachment Pressure Grows, Trump Attacks Paris, California, and Climate

As two dozen Republican congressmen were disrupting the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s activities, the president himself was in Pittsburg threatening to accelerate his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, and his attorneys were filing a suit in California to block a landmark cross-border climate arrangement.

The UK Finds “Net Gain” Might be Cheaper Than “No Net Loss”

In the United States, species and wetland markets are built on the concept of “no net loss,” which often requires extensive surveying to determine exact impacts. In the United Kingdom, a new bank is experimenting with guaranteeing a net gain – in part because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it may be more cost effective.

In Chesapeake Bay, Simple Targets Lead to Compound Results

The Green New Deal has won praise for highlighting the upside of meeting the climate challenge, but critics say cap-and-trade will deliver the same benefits without the confusion. In the Chesapeake Bay, a similar debate is playing out on water pollution, and a simple cap seems to support multiple benefits.

Shades of REDD+:
Bridging the National vs Project Divide

Efforts to reduce tropical deforestation are divided into two separate worlds: One that believes that governments need to lead any effort on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+), and one that sees a role for private carbon projects. We must unify these worlds to increase the chances to curb deforestation.

Will Small Forest Owners Finally Be Able To Tap Carbon Markets?

Carbon finance can, in theory, help small landowners around the world improve the way they manage their forests by providing that little bit of extra income that can make sustainable forest management pay. In practice,l high transaction costs and low carbon prices have limited uptake – but that’s changing, thanks to new technologies and finance strategies.

IMF: $75 Per Ton Carbon Price Needed by 2030 to Meet Climate Challenge

Economists have long agreed that the most effective way to meet the climate challenge is to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, and a new study from the International Monetary Fund says that price should be $75 per ton by 2030. The detailed analysis, published Thursday, acknowledges that such a price will drive up energy costs associated with fossil fuels, but it concludes that the money could be used to generate billions of new jobs if properly deployed.

Want to Save Endangered Species and Clean Up Our Water? Hop in a Sandbox!

Environmental markets have delivered stunning success, but at nowhere near the scale needed to meet the climate, water, and biodiversity challenges. One challenge is Sluggish regulatory responses are partly to blame, and that a new approach called “regulatory sandboxes” might be the answer.

Carbon Offsetting: the Frequently Asked Questions

Climate change is finally getting the media attention it deserves, and so is carbon offsetting. But what is carbon offsetting? How does it work? Can you trust it? These are just some of the most frequently-asked questions we encounter on carbon offsetting, and here are some simple, concise answers.

Month-End Summit Aims to Accelerate Investments in Natural Infrastructure

Two years ago, few people outside of the environmental community had heard of “nature-based solutions” to the climate challenge or “green infrastructure,” but both concepts are suddenly being championed around the world and even featured prominently in recent US presidential debates. That awareness, however, won’t mean a thing if we don’t figure out how to pay for them. Will an upcoming summit help?

Understanding Elizabeth Warren’s Risk Disclosure Act

This story originally appeared in Cheddar. It is republished here as part of Ecosystem Marketplace’s partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Forests, Farms, and the Global Carbon Sink: How Developing Countries Put Forests on the Climate Agenda

Nearly a quarter of all the greenhouse gases emitted by man come from the way we manage our forests, farms, and fields, yet the Kyoto Protocol offered little in the way of tools for financing forest conservation. That began to change when developing countries introduced the concept of REDD+ in 2005, at year-end climate talks in Montreal. Here’s our latest installment in the intermittent series, “Forests, Farms, and the Global Carbon Sink”.

Debunked: Eight Myths About Carbon Offsetting

Climate change is finally getting the attention it deserves, and with the attention comes renewed skepticism about carbon offsetting. Our research into voluntary markets, however, reveals companies are engaging in carbon markets as one part of larger emissions reduction strategies that include energy efficiency measures among other improvements. Here we explore eight common misconceptions associated with carbon offsets.

The Story of the Surui Forest Carbon Project

In 2009, the Paiter-Surui of the Brazilian Amazon became the first indigenous people to save their forest through the use of carbon finance. The project slashed deforestation and jump-started sustainable agriculture projects across the territory, but faced opposition from religious extremists, illegal loggers, and diamond miners.

Shades of REDD+: Can Oil and Aviation Fuel a Marshall Plan for Forests?

Deforestation is increasing around the world, and we need a Marshall Plan for Forests. But who will fund it? In this installment of the series “Shades of REDD+”, we look at two sectors that may soon comprise the largest source of demand for forest carbon credits. Both can be part of the solution, but only if key criteria are met.

A New Beginning for Climate Reporting

This story originally appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review. It is republished here as part of Ecosystem Marketplace’s partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

How Antonin Scalia Launched Trump’s Stealth Attack on Clean Water

The President of the United States can’t repeal a law like the Clean Water Act, but the Trump Administration is going ahead with plans to undermine the CWA by severely limiting the long-evolving rules that underpin it. It’s the latest episode of a saga that we have been covering since early last year.

We Save the Amazon in Part by Investing in the Indigenous Frontline

It’s no coincidence that indigenous and traditional communities control one-third of the world’s remaining tropical forests, for these groups have long managed their forests in ways that provide sustenance without destroying the forest itself. To end deforestation, we must invest in them and their way of life.

Shades of REDD+: A Marshall Plan for Tropical Forests?

Farming and forestry account for nearly a quarter of all the greenhouse gas emissions generated by man, and deforestation of tropical forests accounts for half of this. To end deforestation, we must find solutions to make conservation of forests financially viable, and REDD+ is a key part of that.

Shades of REDD+: New Series to Explore History and Future of Forest Finance

Deforestation is a classic “wicked problem” with no easy solutions. REDD+ has been conceived to be the master of this problem. In this new series, we’ll look whether REDD+ has delivered on the early hopes, how it is implemented in countries, what works, what doesn’t – and of course, how it could still become a story of success.

Forests, Farms, and the Global Carbon Sink: The Genesis

Agriculture, deforestation, and forest fires generate up to 40 percent of all man-made greenhouse gasses, but farmers are only now beginning to play a role in global talks through a process known as the “Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture”. In this series, we explore the evolution of land use within the global climate apparatus.

California is Poised to Lead on Climate – Again

Tropical forests are our first line of defense against climate change, and the Tropical Forest Standard creates a blueprint through which industries can offset part of their carbon emissions by paying countries in the tropics to save trees. It could funnel $1 billion towards reducing tropical deforestation in the next 10 years.

Will Trump’s Endangered Species Alteration Hurt the $25 Billion Restoration Economy?

Republican lawmakers have been reticent about directly attacking popular laws like the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, but the Trump Administration has chosen to undermine them by stealth – specifically by making changes to the rules it creates for implementing them. A new change to the Endangered Species Act aims to make the law more business-friendly, but chances are it will only be friendly to a few businesses, like mining and logging.

What Does the IPCC Special Report say About Forests?

The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on land use and climate change reveals seven important things to take note of on the relationship between forests and climate change.

Opinion: Ten Things Rural Landowners Should Know About Ecological Land Value

Ranchers and farmers earn their livelihoods managing land in ways that deliver goods and services the rest of us are willing to pay for. Far too many of them, however, have not yet learned about programs that generate significant new income from their operations, along with clean air, clean water, and biodiversity – healthy ecosystems, which benefit us all.

Forests, Farms, and the Global Carbon Sink: It’s Happening

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we need carbon sinks if we’re to meet the climate challenge, and farmers have the ability to turn forests, fields, and farms into just that. Unfortunately, they’ve been slow to embrace the global apparatuses for meeting the climate challenge, until now. Here’s how that changed, and why it matters.

Understanding the IPCC’s New Compendium of Science on Climate, Forests, and Farms

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its long-waited Special Report on Climate Change and Land this morning. Written by 107 authors drawing on more than 7,000 scientific publications, the report is a complex compendium of scientific knowledge with a simple core message: to end climate change, we must eat less meat and waste less food.

Is 2019 Summer the Season of Trees and Climate?

Natural climate solutions are finally beginning to get the kind of media attention they need, but that can be a double-edged chainsaw if certain nuances are lost. We take stock of the last few months’ coverage in our latest edition of the EM Insights Newsletter, which went out this morning.

Incorporating Green Infrastructure into Our Cities

Our forests, wetlands, urban green spaces, and sustainably-managed farms and ranches provide clean and reliable water for most of the world’s urbanites, yet they are often treated as little more than scenic intervals between cities. To save them, we should view them as real assets, just as valuable as our roads, dams, levees, and wastewater treatment plants, argues Jan Cassen of the Forest Trends Water Initiative.

Commenting Opens Soon on New REDD+ Jurisdictional Accounting Initiative

Natural climate solutions are key to meeting the climate challenge, but scaling them up requires rigorous accounting for the way our management of forests, farms, and fields impacts greenhouse gas emissions. That will be a key focus of year-end climate talks in Santiago, Chile – and of a new global architecture to be unveiled on Monday.

Webinar: Understanding the Accountability Framework

The Accountability Framework aims to provide a global consensus on how to define a forest and how to track the impact that commodity companies have on deforestation the world. Launched in June, the Framework could have major implications for the way we manage our forests, farms, and fields.

Opinion: Critiques of Carbon Credits Aren’t Asking the Right Question

Carbon market critiques always seem to ask whether these mechanisms have solved the climate crisis, and the answer is always a decisive “No.” That, however, puts the onus on one mechanism instead of on society and detracts from the real question: namely, “Is there any way to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement without protecting the world’s forests?” This leads to another “No,” but with other implications.

A Financial Architecture for Global Carbon Sinks: A New Forestry Investment Strategy

Natural climate solutions can get us one-third of the way to meeting the Paris Agreement’s 2-degree target, but they draw just 3 percent of climate finance. We can change that by developing a new financial architecture that recognizes nature as an asset class, and New Forests’ CEO David Brand says forestry’s evolution as an asset class can inform that development.

A Brief History of Planting Trees to Save the Environment

Major media are finally waking up to the role that trees can play in slowing and even reversing climate change, and that’s great. Unfortunately, most still seem oblivious to mechanisms emerging to not only plant trees but saving forests and support farmers.

Americans Deserve Better Coverage of Carbon Finance

The climate challenge is complex, and so are the solutions emerging for meeting it. Unfortunately, the same sloppy reporting that got us into this mess is now threatening to keep us here, says Ecosystem Marketplace editor Steve Zwick and COTAP founder Tim Whitley.

How Can Investors Hold Companies Accountable for Deforestation?

Hundreds of corporations say they want to reduce their impact on forests, and many actually make good on that claim. Most, however, say haven’t been able to do so because every NGO seems to have its own definition of deforestation. That changed with the arrival of the Accountability Framework two weeks ago, and a Wednesday webinar will explore the role of investors in driving corporate action.

One-Sixth of the World’s Economy Could Soon Be Covered by Carbon Neutral Commitments

Commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement aren’t yet deep enough to avoid a climate catastrophe, but more and more countries and companies are either contemplating or committing to carbon neutrality by a specific date in the future. A new analysis shows that 16 percent of the global economy could soon be covered by net-zero commitments.

Bonn Climate Talks Open With Focus on Food and Markets

Two weeks of UN climate talks opened today in the former German capital of Bonn, with the 50th meetings of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, as well as a two-day workshop on agriculture within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the inaugural meeting of the Facilitative Working Group of the local communities and indigenous peoples platform.

Can Natural Climate Solutions Defuse the Arctic Methane Bomb?

Twenty years ago, the IPCC warned that global warming would melt arctic ice, releasing methane that drives up temperatures faster and faster. It’s a nightmare scenario that mainstream media dismissed as something akin to apocalyptic fiction, but now it’s here. Nature-based solutions may still be able to help us avert the worst effects, but are we willing to pay for them?